Beyond the obvious fact that many people evolve throughout their lifetimes, Wayne Dyer offers a clear outline of 4 stages of human evolution that we can see in ourselves and in those around us.

I love the 4 stages as Dr. Dyer explains them, because I think they can be a very useful guide to point to where we are at this point in time.

Has someone ever handed you a book and said “you HAVE TO read this, it is life-changing”, and then you read it, and are bored in minutes, or feel like it is talking about things you can’t relate to at all? Sometimes you might wonder, “why don’t I like this? how can these other people be saying it is life changing and I can barely stay awake reading it?”

Dyer explains that this is a result of reading a work that was written by an author who is or was at a different stage of evolution than you are. He uses his own books as examples and says that some of his earlier works no longer resonate at all with him, but he continues to get letters from people thanking him for writing such life-changing information. I remember for me personally, when I first read Dyer’s book “Your Erroneous Zones”, I didn’t really care for it at all. I was in law school at the time, and I felt like it was something I would have enjoyed back in high school. In fact, I have a few copies of it still, and plan to have my own children read it when they reach high school age. This book was written by Dyer in the late 1970’s at a very early stage in his own personal evolution. But I know many people who have read it recently, and found it to be life-changing because they currently resonate with that particular phase of growth.

Similarly, I remember reading Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul” when my son turned 1 in 2007, and I would read a few paragraphs and put it down. Leave it for a while, pick it up again, read a little, put it down. I knew the material was calling to me, but I wasn’t quite ready for it. I never did make it all the way through the book until two years later. I was in a transitional phase in my life on many levels, and I picked it up again. This time, I could not put it down, stayed up through the night to finish it, and did a ton of journaling on my thoughts and impressions from reading it.

At this point, there are whole categories of books that don’t resonate with me anymore. Books I DEVOURED in college, like self-help books on relationships and love, (ie, Harville Hendrix “Getting the Love You Want”), and books on success and achievement (ie, Napolean Hill Think and Grow Rich, Bandler and Grinder’s Frogs Into Princes) no longer occupy any space on my bookshelves — physical or virtual.

NONE of the stages are bad! They are what they are. Going through the four stages below will hopefully give you more compassion for yourself, and forgiveness if you feel like you’re the only one not jiving with certain information. You are where you are, and you can seek out tools, systems, books and movies that support your growth in this exact moment.

Stage 1: The athlete. The primary identification is with your physical body. In this phase, people are often very concerned with how they look, dress, and the shape and size of their body. In stage one, people are unable to actively manifest their highest path.

Stage 2: The warrior. This stage is dominated by the ego.The warrior phase is often identified by words like “primal” and “biological”, meaning a person is driven to act based on basic instincts of their biology, rather than in accordance with a higher spiritual awareness. It is often where males will identify mostly with needing to feel “masculine” and females identify strongly with needing to feel mostly “feminine”, as roles in society, without the true desire to embrace the divine polarities within themselves.

This is the time of goal setting, strategizing, studying and developing plans for how you will be victorious in life. The warrior studies hard, practices diligently. Once again, this is an archetype that some live an entire lifetime and die in.

Stage 3: The Statesperson. The ego is tamed here and our awareness is enlarged. Someone in the statesperson stage realizes that their purpose is to serve to the world, and they begin to work towards this goal.

“How may I serve?” is the key question in this phase. Ambition is now about making a difference in the lives of others. Serving supplants greed. Redemption, grace, generosity and forgiveness replace the old need for success. This archetype is best exemplified by the Native American prayer: “When we walk upon on the earth, we always place our feet gently, for we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground and we never forget them.”

Living for biological imperatives, being driven by primal instincts and living from “the body” is no longer the energy powering your actions. In this phase, you experience your connection with everyone and everything else in the world.

Stage 4: The Spirit.
 This is the time when you finally begin to realize that you are not here as a human being having a spiritual experience, but rather you are an infinite spiritual being having a temporary human experience. Here, your ambition has shifted toward the desire to portray your essential divine nature as pieces of God.

We attempt to behave in the same manner that Albert Einstein reflected when he said that his one main ambition was to learn to think and act like God thinks and acts.

The only thing that the creative source of the universe does with its hands is give without any expectations of return. In the archetype of the spirit, one begins to recognize the presence of the soul—that invisible knowingness within that is only content to extend kindness, reverence for all of life, gentleness and, above all, love. So simply, God is love.

Use these stages for your own development and growth in a way that works for your life.